Antiversum are one of my favorite bands that I’ve discovered through the miracle of a good bargain. I picked up the CD version of their Total Vacuum demo because a US distro had on sale for $5, and I liked the cover art to boot. The gamble I took on this purchase paid off immensely; I was hooked immediately and listened to Total Vacuum in my car for about a week straight. It still hasn’t left my car’s CD collection since then. Now set to unleash their debut album, Cosmos Comedenti, Antiversum see the full realization of their potential.
The intersection of the darkest parts of extreme metal has always yielded the most interesting results to me. There are any number of bands these days whose sound is a combination of black, death, and doom metal, but something about Antiversum struck me as special. The seething menace and occult fervor that permeates this micro-genre feels somehow more believable coming from this Swiss collective, and especially now on Cosmos Comedenti. Antiversum’s sound benefits from an updated production value, giving the guitars more heft and bringing the vocals into the forefront to the benefit of the compositions. Nowhere is the band stronger than on the album’s second track, “Creatio e Chao Orta Est”, which showcases all of the band’s strengths at once. Building from an doomed out intro of tribal drumming, ringing guitar notes, and raw vocalizations, layer upon layer of psychedelic guitars add a hazy, otherworldly vibe to the song before the whole thing crumbles away into industrial noise. As quickly as it stops, however, the song charges out of the gate with wild abandon, as the band lets the reigns loose completely and launches into a burly death metal assault. The flow of the song and the way the different genres move in and out of one another is entrancing and shows thoughtful songwriting that makes Antiversum stand out among their peers.
You can complain that the popularity of such so-called “cavernous” blackened death metal acts springing up within the last few years is nothing more than a gimmick waiting to run its course, but there are still plenty of bands that latch onto this sound and do something surprising with it. Antiversum are one such band. Plenty of bands can take the basic blend of genres and make it work, but to make something that feels this organic is special. Cosmos Comedenti is not an album that should be dismissed lightly.